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Parent Alcohol Abuse Linked with Increase in Teenage Dating Violence

According to a study from the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions, having a parent diagnosed with alcohol addiction elevates the risk of dating-related violence amongst teenagers. This research study also found that the main cause of the dating violence during the adolescent years can be seen as early as infancy.

The Clinical Study

The research performed noted the following facts and findings:

  • 144 participants who had fathers with an alcohol use disorder were used to conduct the clinical study.
  • The participants were recruited at 12 months of age for the purposes of the research.
  • Over the course of the participants’ lifespan, data were collected at regular intervals and certain factors were identified that led to some of the teenagers being involved in violent behaviors during dating relationships.
  • The study found that family dynamics occurring in and stressors experienced during the preschool and middle childhood years resulted in the development of dating violence and aggression during the adolescent stage of life.
  • The major factor that increased the risk of behavior issues in teenagers was that the mothers of these children were less sensitive and warm in their interactions with their children due to them becoming depressed as a result of living with a partner with an alcohol use disorder. This was an extremely significant finding because it has been shown time and time again that children with sensitive and warm mothers are better able to regulate and control their behaviors and emotions.
  • It was also discovered that there was more marital conflict in the presence of alcohol addiction and this interfered with the children’s abilities to control their own emotions and behaviors.
  • Children who displayed increased levels of aggression during their early and middle childhood, especially towards their siblings, were noted to be more likely to display aggression towards their partners during their teenage years

early teenage dating violence with alcohol addiction of parents

Suggested Interventions

The researchers of the study made the following suggestions and recommendations:

  • The findings of the study underscored the critical need for early interventional and prevention protocols for families who are at-risk for alcohol-related problems.
  • Mothers with partners who are diagnosed with alcoholism are especially in need of support during these times as their emotional well-being directly impacts the behavior of the child towards their future partners.
  • The risk of violent tendencies during the teenage years can be reduced when parents are able to be more sensitive and warm in their interactions with their children during their toddler years.
  • Marital conflict should be reduced as this allows for an increase in the child’s ability to better control their emotions and thus their behaviors towards others.

Pacific Bay Recovery

Pacific Bay Recovery is a top drug and alcohol rehabilitation center that specializes in helping patients with substance abuse issues such as alcohol addiction.

The facility includes managing patients on an inpatient and/or outpatient basis depending on their needs and unique circumstances and offers the services of healthcare professionals such as psychologists, psychiatrists, and occupational therapists to name a few.

The rehabilitation facility also specializes in working with family members of affected individuals so that marital conflict and any behavioral issues demonstrated by their children may be addressed and hopefully resolved.

 

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